Thursday, 3 January 2013

And that was Christmas

Christmas dinner in a giant Yorkshire pudding
My dad doesn't have the best of luck, for our 2nd Christmas with him in a row, he fell ill for the big day itself.

Perhaps we're just bad luck charms? More likely I suspect his love affair with eating seafood on Christmas Eve may have played a part on one or both occasions. To be fair though, the 1st time was a combination of slightly warm prawns from Whitby and the crazy proof navy rum consumed that night. The 2nd time was more bad luck, perhaps related at least a little bit with a defrosted fillet of Plaice that was consumed, but more likely being in contact with someone who recently had the winter vomiting bug could have done it. Bless his cotton socks, he was still trying to do the cooking preparations when he just couldn't keep it in any longer and spent most of Christmas day in the bathroom and looking as pale as a sheet.

The 4 of us remaining rescued the preparations and Norngirl took charge of the cooking and we still ended up with yummy feast. We went buffet style on the table so I went for a giant Yorkshire pudding pile variety of presentation. It was delicious!

As well as the unexpected which threw the day out a little, we all managed to sit around the TV to watch Dr Who which I thought was very good, well structured and heart warmingly festive. The falling from the edge of space and being dead but only bruised on the outside did seem to push the need for a plot device a little far. Multiple fractures and a bit more of a pizza appearance seemed more likely but at least it was only for a little more dialogue and to probably not scare the children watching.

The rest of the Christmas period flew by, on boxing day we went to the pub to watch the football; Leeds were thrashed by Notts Forest and it didn't make easy viewing. Hopefully the lack of fight and skill was more a hangover of the Ken Bates era.

The best moments were getting a little bit of down time here and there with Norngirl as well as tasting lots of nice beer. Other highlights were visiting people and heading to a couple of tourist attractions.

One of the places we visited was The Hepworth Wakefield.

Hepworth Wakefield by the River Calder

Being able to walk over the river on a springy bridge to get to it was great fun and there is a cool junk dude hanging from a crane by the river Calder.

Scrap Art Dude

The gallery itself has lots of space but very little content that grabbed my attention. I liked the medical drawings though they were all rather samey samey after the first 10 or more. My favourite artwork was the collection of images showing scenes of Wakefield as it was in the past.

If you've read my views on art before you'll know I'm not a fan of a lot of modern art and the majority of the pieces displayed here didn't win me over. By the time we had walked through all of the galleries it seemed to me that a lot of modernist sculpture (where it isn't self evident as to what it is) ends up looking like a case of someone creating something and then assigning the context or label to the form after the fact.

In fairness, I thought a lot of the Barbara Hepworth sculptures were quite good as they are sculptures that appear to have some coherent idea and design behind their creation. The museum itself is free entry so you've nothing to lose (time aside) by heading down to it.

Hepworth Sculptures

If I dare say so myself, still not as good as my 'Using 2 Dominoes to balance the rest of dominoes and the box too' that I made on the table at my dads house when I was bored.

Domino Tower

The building the gallery is in, it's boring grey facade aside, was rather modern and well thought out, the windows were huge and the views of the river were my highlight for me.

Hepworth Wakefield

View of Wakefield from the Hepworth Gallery

The other place we visited was the Thackray Medical Museum in Leeds. The medical museum was more up my street. Though it's £7 admission for an adult there was plenty to see and it engaged us initially by picking a character which you then find out more about and end up seeing how long they lived and how long they ended up living for.
There was plenty of interesting things, a part about disability and people's perceptions, another about improvements made in medical science. I even got to try on a pregnancy empathy belt as well as find out lots about how medicine was in the UK before some major breakthroughs - like anesthetics.

Our time in Yorkshire was soon up and we were back on a plane and landing onto the runway at Belfast City Airport. Over the next couple of days we had a re-Christmasing in North Belfast which involved perhaps a little too much alcohol.

The re-christmasing

Time flew by and we didn't get much downtime, Norngirl only managed to get through a book or two instead of her usual libraries worth. The biggest surprise was a shock result in a game of Trivial Pursuit.

Roll again

Also the news that we're going to be getting a pet cat! Norngirl okayed it with the landlord and surprised me on Christmas day with a photo of items bought for our feline to be. We’re planning to adopt a cat from an animal sanctuary so hopefully it’ll be a nice improvement in life for the cat too.

Christmas 2012 was busy but benign and hopefully the kick start into a great year ahead.

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